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Sensory perception in control of mammalian life-history

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Life history theory is built on the assumption that there are trade-offs between life-history traits, such as between early and late-life reproduction, and between reproduction and lifespan. How these trade-offs are mediated is poorly understood. The current PhD will test new hypotheses suggesting sensory perception is an important trigger of life-history investment and aging, focusing on the role of olfaction in the mouse as a model system. The project will make use of mice with genetic deficits that limit the ability to detect certain pheromones, in addition to conducting social manipulations where the perception of mates and competitors is altered. The candidate will work in conjunction with a funded Marsden project, and there will be scope to shape the project in relation to the applicant’s interests. This could include uncovering novel components of life history that are shaped by sensory signals, exploring trade-offs between early and late-life traits, and identification of neuroendocrine signals that link sensory cues to altered life-history investment.

The student will be under supervision of Dr. Michael Garratt, whose interests lie in understanding the links between reproduction and aging. The Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago has diverse and complimentary research interests, including research groups focusing on reproduction, genomics, development, neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, clinical anatomy and biological anthropology. The University of Otago is located in the beautiful town of Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand.

Dr. Michael Garratt
Lecturer
Department of Anatomy
School of Biomedical Sciences
University of Otago
New Zealand
Email:
https://www.otago.ac.nz/anatomy/people/staff/profile/index.html?id=2975
https://scholar.google.co.nz/citations?hl=en&user=Q3aOKlgAAAAJ


Funding Notes

Interested applicants should contact Michael Garratt, including their CV, academic transcript and evidence of English language test if required. PhD Scholarships are available to international students, but students must apply and be awarded a doctoral scholarship from the Department of Anatomy or University of Otago scholarship programs. These scholarships provide a tuition waiver and a tax-free stipend.

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